Monday, January 10, 2011

The Guest

I read a lovely little story on my walk today called, "Where Love is, God Is" by Leo Tolstoy. The story is about an old cobbler who has suffered much loss and feels bitter about his life. One night he was reading the gospels and began to wonder what kind of man he was. He read the  Luke 7:44 story of the Pharisee who did not welcome Jesus into his home. Martin, the poor cobbler said,

"He must have been like me, that Pharisee. He too thought only of himself -- how to get a cup of tea, how to keep warm and comfortable; never a thought of his guest. He took care of himself, but for his guest he cared nothing at all. Yet who was the guest? The Lord himself! If he came to me, should I behave like that?"
The story goes on to tell about Martin's visitors and how he welcomed them. In the story Martin found happiness by welcoming his guests.

I find it easy to bask in comfort, fuss about details, and miss opportunities to entertain strangers in need. Even when guests come to my home I often spend more time fixing things than really "seeing" my guests.

I felt inspired by Tolstoy's tale written in his later life as he contemplated how he had lived. You can read the print story at The audio version is available at The Classic Tales Podcast. I am always amazed at the great selection of classic literature available at no cost.

40 minutes walking

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